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Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?

JeremyC 08 Aug 07 - 03:46 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Aug 07 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 08 Aug 07 - 06:36 PM
Susan of DT 08 Aug 07 - 06:40 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Aug 07 - 06:56 PM
The Sandman 09 Aug 07 - 07:43 AM
GUEST 09 Aug 07 - 08:00 AM
Pete_Standing 09 Aug 07 - 08:03 AM
Susan of DT 09 Aug 07 - 09:38 AM
JeremyC 09 Aug 07 - 11:51 AM
JeremyC 09 Aug 07 - 02:40 PM
The Sandman 10 Aug 07 - 10:08 AM
JeremyC 10 Aug 07 - 11:23 AM
The Sandman 10 Aug 07 - 01:52 PM
Ed. 11 Aug 07 - 05:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Aug 07 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Ed 13 Aug 07 - 02:58 AM
JeremyC 13 Aug 07 - 10:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Aug 07 - 08:57 AM
JeremyC 14 Aug 07 - 10:17 AM
Pete_Standing 14 Aug 07 - 11:46 AM
The Sandman 14 Aug 07 - 01:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Aug 07 - 02:42 PM
JeremyC 16 Aug 07 - 11:43 AM
The Sandman 16 Aug 07 - 12:07 PM
JeremyC 16 Aug 07 - 07:13 PM
The Sandman 17 Aug 07 - 07:24 AM
The Sandman 22 Aug 07 - 02:43 PM
GUEST 27 Nov 12 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Guest 23 Mar 13 - 07:56 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: JeremyC
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 03:46 PM

I've used the search quite a bit for this, but I haven't been able to turn anything up. Does anyone happen to know the tuning Martin Carthy used in his "Shearwater" recording of "Famous Flower of Serving Men"? I saw a tip somewhere that it was in open G, but I tried that and couldn't make it work. I'm actually less interested in playing the song than I am in understanding how it's played (since I can't think of a situation where I'd be welcome to play all 20-odd verses, even if I were somehow to master it).


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 04:17 PM

I don't play it the same as him, but do manage to get most of the flavour of the main riff (but with more of a sort of boogie beat, shock horror) using a Scott Tuning Capo to give me mock DADGAD. I think Paul Hurst used to play it in true DADGAD or maybe the Carthy favourites of DADEAD or DADF#AD.

It ain't 20-odd verses, the shortened Martin Carthy version is I think 47. I have a very pruned set of words that gets it down to 19 couplets, and it goes by quite quickly if you are playing it (can't speak for the audience though...)


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 06:36 PM

I play it in standard tuning, and I make it 33 verses. It takes six and a bit minutes to sing it, with an occasional guitar bit in between verses.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning
From: Susan of DT
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 06:40 PM

Richard - could you post your shortened version of this, please. I have been trying to decide which verses to cut to make this ballad (Child #106) singable and would like to see what you did with it. We have three versions in the DT. Lisa's 7 verse one doesn't have the whole story, Carthy's 37 verse one is a bit much, and Bruce's 5 verse one is incomplete.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 06:56 PM

I lied - 18 verses but I think the story is complete

^^
FAMOUS FLOWER OF SERVING MEN


I was by birth a lady fair
My father's chief and only heir
But when my good old father died
Then I was made a young knight's bride

Though I got married to this knight
My stepmother she did me spite
For she sent thieves in the dark of night
To rob my bower and slay my knight

T'was all alone I dug his grave
And all alone in it him laid
While Christ was priest and I was clerk
I laid my love in the cold clay earth

No living man I'll love again
Since that my lovely knight is slain
And with a lock of his yellow hair
I'll chain my heart for ever mair

I cut my locks and I changed my name
Fair Eleanor to Sweet William
I went to court to serve my king
As the famous flower of serving men

But all alone in my bed at e'en
Oh there I dreamed a dreadful dream
I saw my bed did swim with blood
And saw the thieves all around my head

Our king has to the hunting gone
He's ta'en the lords, the gentlemen
He's left me there to guard his home
The famous flower of serving men

Our king he rode the wood all round
He stayed all day but nothing found
And as he rode himself alone
It's there he saw the milk white hind

Oh the hind she'd mount and then she'd sound
Sometimes before, sometimes behind
Such a hind as this was never born
I fear she'll do me dreadful harm

Great silence hung from tree to sky
A grave was seen by sunlight fire
As through the woods the dove he came
And sat and sang upon that stone

The bloody tears they fell like rain
As still he sat and still he sang
"Alas the day my love became
The famous flower of serving men"

"Oh it was her mother's deadly spite
For she sent thieves in the dark of night
They came to rob, they came to slay
They made their sport, they went their way

"And how she wept as she changed her name
Fair Eleanor to Sweet William
And went to court to serve her king
As the famous flower of serving men"

And as the King rode home alone
A dreadful oath he there has sworn
That he would hunt her mother down
As he would hunt the wildwood swine

For there's four and twenty ladies all
And he's rode in among them all
He's lifted her to his saddle brim
And there he's kissed her cheek and chin

And he has sent his nobles all
Unto her mother they have gone
All for to build the bonfire high
All for to set her mother by

The fire took first on her cheek
And then it took all on her chin
It spat and rang in her yellow hair
And soon there was no life left there

And then for fear of any strife
He took Sweet William for his wife
The like before was never seen
A servant man became a queen


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 07:43 AM

I am absolutely certain that at this time, Carthy was not using dadeae,my guess is he played it in dadgad,or dadgbd.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 08:00 AM

Guitar Tuning: DGCGCD (6th. to 1st strings)

Chords:

x07070
x09090
x05050
x04040
x02020
x0 11 0 11 0
x0 14 0 14 0
x00000
200000
320000


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 08:03 AM

I've been on a Carthy workshop. The tuning that Martin uses is CGCDGA.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning
From: Susan of DT
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 09:38 AM

Thanx Richard


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: JeremyC
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 11:51 AM

GUEST - Amazing, I never would have guessed such a weird tuning. I'm going to try that out as soon as I get home. Where did you come upon this information? If you transcribed it yourself, you have a pretty awesome ear.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning
From: JeremyC
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 02:40 PM

I've now tried it, and it works, although I'm finding the tuning on the album is a half step lower, and the right hand is really tricky. I always have a devil of a time figuring out his tunings, since most of the albums I have are before his CGCDGA days, and I don't even think he's consistent with that tuning now.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 10:08 AM

It looks like hes treating the instrument, a little like an appalachian dulcimer.if its DGCGCD he starts in g modal,progresses to g9,then to a modal g7,to g6,tog6 different inversion,d7[without a fifth ,then D7 WITH FIFTH, c9 Without Third,finishing on f 6/9.dont know if it helps.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: JeremyC
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 11:23 AM

Captain Birdseye, that's very interesting. I've never even seen a dulcimer before, but am I correct that it's basically a modal instrument where you play melodies against a drone? It does sound like Carthy's doing this, definitely.

In this case, what makes the song seem challenging to me is not the left hand (although there's a tricky phrasing bit in the slide from 11 to 14), but the right hand technique and the way the rhythm fits with the melody line. Martin Carthy has a thumb you can set your watch to.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 01:52 PM

Yes ,that is right about the appalachian dulcimer.
Keeping the thumb steady as a rock,is one of the fundamentals,of melody picking,in american folk music,Missippi John Hurt,EttaBaker etc,but Carthy is a genius because he adapted the style, using open tunings and other influences [dulcimer, 5 string banjo tunings, Davy Grahams morroccan influences]and gave english guitar a completely new direction,he is a very clever man.Dick Miles.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Ed.
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 05:57 AM

Jeremy,

GUEST above was me. My ear isn't that good... I got the details from here. I can however confirm that the tuning is correct; I have a book "Martin Carthy - A Guitar in Folk Music" from the 1980s which gives tunings for 20 odd of his songs including Famous Flower.

Prior to CGCDGA he did quite a lot of stuff in DADEAE


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 11:37 AM

how does he string the guitar for CGCDGA = what gauge strings. I've been thinking of getting his teaching dvd. I wouldn't particularly to play his stuff, but I love C tunings . CGCGCE - I got off Joni Mitchell and CGCGCD - off Paul Brady, plus that amazing thing Brady does with G tuning CGDGBD - turning it into a c tuning.

he's an interesting guy Carthy. he grows a nail on his fretting hand just for pull offs.

I've only come to appreciate his genius in my own maturity. I'm convinced he should get someone to really make a good job of recording him. Most of his so called fans haven't got a clue as how divergent a thinker he is as a musician. the recordings don't spotlight his work enough - make it glitter and shimmer! they just sound like some bloke is holding a microphone in the room, somewhere within half a mile of him.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 02:58 AM

Martin explains the strings he uses for CGCDGA here


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: JeremyC
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 10:42 AM

Ed - Fantastic that you have that book. I've looked for it for quite a while, but it's virtually impossible to find (and then it's impossible to find at an affordable price). I can figure out some of Carthy's earlier stuff, before he really started experimenting with alternate tunings, but once he really got going, it became virtually impossible for me to figure out his arrangements. Based on my experimentation with "Famous Flower of Serving Men," I need some work on my right hand before I can really go further.

Weelittledrummer - I've never had much problem with his recordings, other than that his voice sometimes overwhelms the guitar. I agree about the sound, but I've never objected, since isn't that about what you'd get hearing him live? I like how natural most of his recordings are (aside from a few where he used overdubbing--"Stanes Morris"--or synthesizers--"The Death of Young Andrew" and "Palaces of Gold." The synths seem dated and kind of questionable).


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 08:57 AM

well yes. I just know that I saw him about half a dozen times, without picking up on the nail on the fretting hand business, then one night a folk club orgainiser said to me - can you put Martin up for the night. of course I agreed - forgetting that I didn't actually have a bed for him to sleep in.

anyway to cut a long story short - the next day, Martin was sitting on my sofa - cutting his nails, changing his strings, playing my guitars etc - and i learned more about his guitar technique sitting next to him than I had in fifteen years sitting at the back of folk clubs. of course in those days - and still in some places - traddy folk club organisers thought PA systems were the work of the devil. So really I can tell you there were loads of people wandering round saying how great Martin Carthy the guitarist was, without realising why.

he is a very special player . he deserves a good PA system and better recordings. that is my belief. call me anything you like. that is my belief.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: JeremyC
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 10:17 AM

I would probably crap myself if I was asked to put Martin Carthy up for the night (thus making a bad impression!). I do appreciate your point. Regardless of what you get hearing him live, everyone should be as privileged as you were to have seen the man's playing in that level of detail. For me, watching video of him after hearing only recordings was immensely illuminating, and I can only guess what meeting Mr. Carthy himself would do for my appreciation of his talent.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 11:46 AM

WLD

From memory of his teaching video and the workshop, he uses something like 60 45 35 26 17 17, if I get time and can find the video, I'll check.

Ed

I think that DADEAE tuning is one that Chris Foster uses too.

JeremyC

Martin frequently does workshops and is very willing to pass on help and advice and also to give encouragement.

The last time he was at Oxford FC, he stood and watched all the floor spots, applauded warmly and was complimentary to everyone. He is a gent and ambassador for the genre.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:32 PM

I have had the pleasure of putting him up,when I ran the Bury St Edmunds folk club.
He also played guitar on one of my lps[ Cheating The Tide].Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 02:42 PM

actually his guest appearances - well i won't say they're the best thing - but they do reveal a lovely side to his musicianship.

I recall with pleasure his contribution to Roy Harris's topic record - cant remember the song. a weird version of whisky in the jar.
also a real treat is this dvd he's done alongside Wizz Jones. Such gentle respect between the two men, and its there in every note.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: JeremyC
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 11:43 AM

Pete Standing - I've heard he's a great guy. A few people I know have met him (I guess there's a fellow here in Cincinnati who has been able to convince him to play at little gatherings in his basement) and were impressed by his bearing and charisma, and this is well-supported by the bits and pieces of interviews I've been able to find.

By the way, does anyone know what songs he's done in DADEAE? I have a fair collection of his recordings, but I'm positively awful at working out the tunings. The only songs of his I've been able to figure out have been in standard, in the arrangements he made way back when his playing was more conventional (Springhill Mining Disaster, The Trees they do Grow High, Lord Franklin, and The Wind that Shakes the Barley).


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 12:07 PM

I think Scarborough Fair,is in standard tuning.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning
From: JeremyC
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 07:13 PM

I think it is, too. I worked out part of it, but then he changes it up, and within a couple of chords I lose it. Part of the problem is that his voice drowns out the little things he's doing with the guitar at some points. I should go back to it--maybe I'll do better after trying and failing a few times back when I was actively working on it.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 07:24 AM

have a look at Out of the Cut,and Because its there,Crown of Thorn lps,These may be ones that he used that tuning on ,Idont know.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Aug 07 - 02:43 PM

Jeremy,it is important to work out your own style.
I play a version of Scarborough fair that does not use the same chords as Carthy,but is still good.Cold Haily Windy Night,Seven Yellow Gypsies,are two that are in d a d e a e.,
but look there is no point becoming a Carthy clone,use it as a learning exercise,and try and work out your own songs or tunes,there is a very good book,by Paul de Grae the irish guitar which uses this tuning dadeae,and shows you how to play tunes.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 01:18 PM

Everyone talks about the Carthy tuning CGCDGA, in fact the top string is often tuned differently. As he explained on the Homespun Video, he started trying DADGAD and it didn't work for him – this may be to do with his vocal range. Anyhow he basically took DADGAD and shifted it over across the fretboard – look at the notes on the 7th fret. Starting from the 5th string, you get EADEA and he added an E to the top, giving EADEAE, you just need to alter the 2nd and 3rd strings from standard. He played around with the bass and top strings so he could move easily into DADEAE or DADEAD. He then decided to drop the DADEAE tuning by a tone to CGCDGD. He modifies the top string to A or B and can easily change it to C or D depending on which key he's playing in. I think he uses either DADEAE or EADEAE on Cold Haily Rainy Night and a few songs from the album with Willie's Lady and Bonnie Lass of Anglesey. He uses heavy gauge strings because he's tuned so low; with light gauge strings they're too loose and he couldn't get the powerful bass. I agree with DGCGCD tuning for Famous Flower.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 07:56 AM

On the Sound Techniques Guitar Maestro DVD, he drops the pitch of each string by a tone, giving:
C F Bb F Bb C


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